Monday, August 3, 2009

Back Stateside and Missing Germany Already

So it feels a little weird being back stateside after five weeks of not only visiting Germany, but also making it my home. A part of me is glad to be home — to see my family and friends — but the other part of me also misses my friends that became as close as family from Germany. The one thing that is going to take some getting used to is the fact that I do not have something to do every second of every day. For example, yesterday I literally paced around my house for an hour because I was so bored, and neither the Internet nor television interested me.

My last few days in Germany were great. I went on a day trip to Belgium (Brussels and Bruges) by myself, which was nice, almost to prove I could travel internationally by myself. Bruges was beautiful, filled with tourists and a little redundant, but I didn’t hate Bruges (those who have seen the movie with Collin Ferrell will understand). Monday and Tuesday were full of classes, studying and stress for a lot of people. I just had to finish some projects, show up and present them. The last couple of nights there, the hotel made us some great meals and the mayor of Konigswinter, the town where we were staying, actually joined us for a little while at the hotel. At night, we went down to the Rhine River with a bottle of wine and tried to delay the inevitable: leaving this beautiful country.

This trip for me has been the most exciting, fun and memorable thing I have ever done. I have met people that will be my friends forever; I have seen places that most people never get to visit in their lifetime; and I have built a connection with the country of Germany. I know that sounds a little odd, but you can believe me when I say that this is only the first trip of many that I will take to that part of Germany. I really wish everyone could experience what I have the past five weeks. If anyone ever gets the opportunity to visit any European country, do it. Do not hesitate, because you will not be disappointed.

I am forever grateful to the European Council for working with me to make this trip happen and being patient with me. I am having a hard time putting all my feelings, thoughts and emotions into words right now, which is something that I am not used to. I am still processing everything, and I probably will be for a good while.

I talked to one of my friends from the trip today, and her and I are in accordance: we’re catching the first plane back. This is what a trip like Bonn, Germany will do to you. There are really only three words that can sum up my trip:

I miss Germany.

* Lee is participating in a study abroad program in Bonn, Germany, organized by Valdosta State University's European Council and International Programs.

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